My Yard Becomes the Apollo Theater by Paula Weld-Cary



I tossed a handful of peanuts into my backyard

attracting a trio of jays, screeching, screeching,

to my window where liquid notes spilled

from their throats as if from saxophones:


Salt Peanuts, Salt Peanuts, they sang from

slender twigs, their kews and jrrs and green arpeggios

reminding me of Gillespie and Parker and Powell:


Bebop and mimicry, sweet improvisation

mixed with the sifting sounds of cracking shells,

swift comings and goings, cartings for caching,

pianissimo of peanuts lifted through air.


And though Dizzy Gillespie could not have fathomed

his notes sung from speckled twigs, they became

part of spring’s swelling presence as three jays

asked me to provide the party food to celebrate

the genius of musical invention.

Paula Weld-Cary writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in many journals including Atlanta Review, Cream City Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She is an environmentalist and a human rights activist who lives in Rochester, New York and can be reached at